Florida's Social Media Law and the Rise of Age Assurance Technologies

Picture of Kinny Chan

With Governor Ron DeSantis signing into law the new social media restrictions for minors in Florida, a significant shift in how social media companies operate within the state is imminent. This groundbreaking law, effective from January 1st, prohibits children under the age of 14 from creating social media accounts and requires parental permission for those aged 14 and 15. This move, aimed at protecting the mental health and privacy of young Floridians, sets the stage for an intensified focus on age assurance technologies.

Age assurance, as outlined in a comprehensive overview by the Future of Privacy Forum, encompasses a range of methods designed to ascertain the age or age range of individuals online. These technologies range from simple age gates, where users enter their birthdates, to more sophisticated systems like facial characterization for age estimation and biometric plus government ID matching for age verification.


Age Assurance Technologies

Social media companies must now pivot towards integrating these age assurance technologies, especially age estimation and verification, to comply with Florida's new law. Age estimation, which assesses a user's age based on facial imagery without identifying them, offers a non-intrusive way to ensure users fall within appropriate age bands. Meanwhile, age verification technologies provide assurance by comparing a user's live photo or video with government-issued IDs. While serving the same purpose, both methods have distinct implications for privacy and access, underscoring the need for careful implementation.

The adoption of these technologies is not without challenges. Concerns around privacy, data security, and the risk of limiting legitimate access must be navigated thoughtfully. Age assurance methods must balance the goal of protecting minors with the imperative to minimize data collection and ensure equity in access. With the potential for legal challenges to the new law, social media platforms must also prepare for evolving regulatory landscapes.

This law marks a critical moment for digital safety and privacy, urging social media companies to advance their age assurance practices. By adopting age estimation and verification technologies, platforms can align with legislative requirements and contribute to a safer, more responsible online environment for all users. As this law sets a precedent, the evolution of age assurance technologies will undoubtedly play a central role in shaping the future of social media use among minors.


Trust Stamp Age Estimation

Trust Stamp's integration of Age Estimation and Age Verification technologies, including the utilization of driver's licenses for verification, represents a cutting-edge approach to digital identity authentication. Age Estimation leverages facial analysis algorithms to approximate the age range of an individual without the need for personal identification documents. This method places users within specific age bands, enhancing user privacy by not requiring direct identification. On the other hand, Age Verification with a driver's license offers a more precise verification process. By comparing a live photo or video of the user with the image on a government-issued driver's license, Trust Stamp can accurately verify an individual's age, ensuring compliance with age-restricted services and regulations. Together, these technologies provide a comprehensive solution for platforms needing to authenticate user ages, balancing the need for accuracy with the imperative of minimizing privacy risks.


Trust Stamp’s Biometrically Bound Credential: Revolutionizing Age Verification

As part of its suite of identity verification solutions, Trust Stamp provides a Biometrically Bound Credential, a feature designed to streamline and minimize the privacy invasiveness of age assurance. This innovative approach initially verifies an individual's age using a government-issued ID document and age estimation to establish a high level of assurance. Once the age is verified, Trust Stamp creates a biometrically bound credential encapsulated within their proprietary technology called Stable IT2. This process ensures that the individual’s identity is securely linked to the verified age credential utilizing a biometric.


Enhancing Privacy with Biometric Tokenization

What sets Trust Stamp’s Biometrically Bound Credential apart is its emphasis on privacy and data minimization. After the initial verification, the individual does not need to repeatedly present their ID document for age verification. Instead, Trust Stamp’s technology uses biometrics to generate a token that can be used to verify a user’s identity.  This token can then be used for future authentications without storing any biometric data itself. This method significantly enhances privacy by ensuring that sensitive personal data, such as your ID document, is not repeatedly collected or stored.  Furthermore, utilizing Trust Stamp’s Stable IT2 discussed below, the biometrics can be performed in a privacy-enhancing manner.


Privacy-Centric and Data Minimization

Trust Stamp's solution adheres to the principles of privacy enhancement and data minimization. By creating a biometrically bound credential, Trust Stamp minimizes the need for individuals to continually provide their PII for age assurance. This enhances user convenience and aligns with global data protection regulations, which emphasize the need to limit data collection and retention. 


Stable IT2: The Core of Trust Stamp’s Privacy Enhancement

The Stable IT2 technology is central to Trust Stamp's approach to "privacy-enhancing biometrics." This technology ensures that while the authenticity of the credential can be verified, the biometric data itself does not need to be stored. Instead, the technology generates a unique token, thus ensuring that the individual's privacy is maintained while allowing for reliable authentication of their credentials.




Figure 1. The data generated and stored in the Stable IT2 Process is not biometric in nature and does not contain PII.


Through the Biometrically Bound Credential, Trust Stamp is setting a new standard for secure, privacy-focused age verification that can be reliably used across various platforms requiring age assurance, from social media to gaming and beyond. This technology ensures compliance with stringent laws like Florida's new social media regulation for minors and offers a user-friendly, privacy-centric approach to age verification.


Ready to Elevate Your Platform's Age Assurance Practices?


Trust Stamp’s advanced Age Estimation and Verification technologies provide robust, privacy-centric solutions tailored for your needs. Ready to learn more about how Trust Stamp can help your platform navigate these new requirements and enhance user trust? Contact us today and take the first step towards a safer and more compliant digital environment.


Kinny Chan, a seasoned leader, excels in breaking down complex challenges at the crossroads of technology, business, and law. With a decade of experience in enterprise product development, sales, and a strong background in data analytics, he is a highly sought-after expert in the legal and tech sectors.

Great updates

Sign up for new blog updates today!